As in year's past, the national cemeteries in Leavenworth and on Fort Leavenworth will be hosting separate observances for Monday's Memorial Day holiday.
The first will begin at 9 a.m. at the rostrum at Leavenworth National Cemetery, located off of Muncie Road east of Kansas Highway 7. According to Dallas Eubanks, the chairman of the Leavenworth Memorial Day Committee, the observance will last about an hour and will feature guest speaker Brig. Gen. James E. Rainey, director of Mission Command Center of Excellence at Fort Leavenworth.
Eubanks said he expects between 1,500 and 2,000 people to attend the ceremony, which aside from the address from Rainey will include the laying of about 30 different wreaths from different service organizations. The ceremony is expected to last about an hour, he said.
“All the veterans organization believe this is the right way to do it,” Eubanks said of the full weekend.
It will be a culmination of sorts for a weekend that focuses on remembering those who have sacrificed everything in service for their country, Eubanks said. The observation began Friday, with a free concert by the American Legion Band of Greater Kansas City and continues early Saturday morning, as more than 1,800 scouts and volunteers from the area are expected to arrive at the cemetery to place flags at each of the approximately 35,000 graves on the site.
“This is actually the biggest year we've had for scouting,” Eubanks said.
Fort Leavenworth will also host a celebration beginning at 11:40 a.m. Monday at its national cemetery located at 395 Biddle Blvd. or at the Frontier Conference Center across the street in the case of inclement weather.
During the ceremony, a wreath will be placed at the grave of Col. Henry Leavenworth, who founded the fort in 1827 and whose name was taken for the county and city. Parking for the ceremony will be at the Frontier Conference Center. Visitors should enter the fort via Grant Gate, Seventh Street and Metropolitan Avenue, in the far right lane and have government issued identification cards for each passenger.